Today, I’d like to talk to you about lupus. About 1.5 million Americans deal with this autoimmune disease and globally, the numbers are closer to 5 million. Lupus is a condition that primarily affects women. 90% of lupus sufferers between 15 and 45 years of age are female. After the age of 50, we begin to see more men diagnosed with the disease- 25% of lupus patients over 50 are male. So while this disease does impact more women than men, it’s not something that just affects the ladies. While severity can differ from person to person, lupus generally causes the body’s immune system to begin attacking its own tissues, organs and joints.
At this time, there is no cure for the disease, and so the main goal for doctors treating lupus sufferers is to achieve the delicate balance of immune system suppression, while keeping it working so that infections are warded off. This is one of the reasons why treating lupus can be so difficult. Because it cannot be cured, most treatment involves managing the symptoms. The main feature of lupus is inflammation and swelling of joints, which is frequently managed by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. While NSAIDs are a good way to relieve the pain associated with lupus, when they’re taken in large does on a regular basis, they can lead to other problems like stomach irritation or bleeding. For this reason, many lupus patients are interested in complementary treatments to help manage their pain. While there are a variety of holistic treatments available, today we will focus on diet, supplements and chiropractic care.
Like many medical conditions, the effects of lupus can often be managed with a well-balanced diet. If you are overweight, you may find that losing a few pounds will help minimize inflammation and relieve joint pressure. Speak to your doctor about your weight and exercise level if you need to make a change. This is one area that’s almost always wise to tackle.
Supplementing with vitamins is another area that some lupus sufferers gain relief. Vitamins like A and E along with primrose and fish oil have all been proven to have anti-inflammatory properties that may help alleviate some symptoms of lupus. There is also increasing evidence that red wine may contain anti-inflammatory properties. Again, speak to your physician before beginning any new diet or vitamin ritual that could interfere with medications you already take. If he or she gives you the green light, you may find that a glass of red wine can have many other health benefits besides its anti-inflammatory qualities.
A chiropractic adjustment manipulates the spine to improve the joints’ mobility. This can lead to increased range of motion and reduced pain. Chiropractic care, in addition to the above treatments, can provide you with many benefits that cannot be attained through medication alone.
Speak to your physician about holistic treatments for your condition. Wouldn’t it be nice to finally find relief from lupus symptoms?
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